About the Women's March ban on Handmaids:
Updated: Dec 1, 2021
At the request of the organizers of the Women's March, we will not be joining their events in costume on 10/2/21. We respect their right to shape the message of the events they organize. And we acknowledge that our demonstrations elicit valid mixed responses from observers, just as the pink pussy hats employed by the Women's March did. It is clear that while we share some goals and principles with the organizers of the Women's March, we also have increasingly divergent agendas and methods.
Handmaids Army DC is focused on defending reproductive rights for ALL people. We explicitly acknowledge that abortion rights belong to men and non-binary people with uteruses, as well as those who identify as women.
We use the Handmaids Tale uniforms to demonstrate the erasure of identity that occurs when reproductive freedoms are limited. Inspired by Margaret Atwood's novel, these costumes evoke a dystopian world where no one is free once reproductive rights are taken away, a world that is becoming increasingly realistic as abortion rights are curtailed. Our costumed protests also offer the protection of anonymity to those who want to demonstrate publicly but face real risks by doing so. Handmaid Protesters have been doxxed and threatened, and we condemn attempts to intimidate lawful demonstrators.
We believe in the power of visual imagery to influence change. Public protests have an impact when they are reported on and reach a broader audience. If no one but the committed witnesses the demonstration, such actions risk becoming exercises in reinforcing existing views without advancing greater goals. News reporting has its most potent impact through photography. Our costumes have inspired professional and amateur photographers to expand the reach of our actions around the globe. We stand by our tactics and we look forward to the day when such demonstrations are no longer necessary.
Photo credit to J. Scott Applewhite